McKillop hopes to tackle records |

McKillop hopes to tackle records

Bill Beckner Jr.

One thing college coaches often look for in a recruit, particularly one who plays defense, is closing speed.

How fast can he get to the ball-carrier• How fast can he bring the opponent down?

Inside linebacker Scott McKillop of Kiski Area is closing in on three school tackling records. The question is, how fast can he rewrite the record books?

McKillop is bearing down on two records and could break them tonight when the Cavaliers (1-1, 2-2) take on Greater Latrobe (1-0, 3-1) in a Quad South Conference game at Latrobe Memorial Stadium.

A third mark could be broken later in the season.

McKillop, who has committed to play at Pitt next season — the Panthers loved his closing speed — is in line to break records for total career tackles, solo tackles and assists.

He is 10 away from the total tackles mark set by defensive tackle Jack Dykes in 1967. Dykes posted 273 tackles (solo and assisted combined).

Dykes later played at Pitt.

McKillop is tied with Scott Love for all-time solo tackles with 131. Love established that mark in 1987.

Rick Hobbins, the Cavaliers’ MVP in 1977, had 219 assists. McKillop is about 40 from that mark.

McKillop averages about 15 tackles per game. He had 23 against Indiana last week.

“Scotty just shows up to play, that’s all there is to it,” said Kiski Area coach Dave Grimm, who began coaching at Kiski Area with the eighth grade program in 1973. “He’s one of those special players who comes along every once in a while. I actually had two, with his brother (Chris) last year.

“At our school, we don’t have a big turnover or have a lot of people moving in. Woodland Hills has guys like that who come along every year.”

All in the family

Latrobe running back Chris Sarnese, a Division-I prospect, will be one of the focal points of Kiski Area’s defense tonight.

Sarnese’s father has a history with the Cavaliers. He was a member of the 1968 Latrobe team that defeated Kiski Area, 19-7, in the WPIAL Class AAA championship game at Forbes Field.

Game of bridge

In 1998, Highlands and Valley officially declared their rivalry game the “Battle for the Bridge,” with the winner of the game getting symbolic possession of the 51-year-old Tarentum Bridge.

Since then, Highlands has won four of five meetings: 20-19 (1998), 24-6 (1999), 40-14 (2001) and 40-6 (2002).

Valley won, 21-7, in 2000.

Since the teams began playing one another under the names Highlands and Valley in 1968, each school has won 11 times.

The schools officially began playing one another in 1922, Valley as Arnold High, Highlands as Tarentum.

The rivalry later became Ken High vs. Har-Brack, then Valley vs. Har-Brack, respectively.

All name changes included, Highlands owns the series, with 50 wins, 39 losses and nine ties.

On the run

Local running backs had a field day last week as the wet weather limited some passing attacks.

In all, eight local backs gained more than 100 yards and combined for 16 touchdowns.

Jarrod Miller of Apollo-Ridge ran for 203 yards and four touchdowns, and Matt Jones of Deer Lakes carried a season- and local-high 36 times for 178 yards and two scores.

Not everyone was buying into the run-first, protect-the-ball mentality.

Quarterback Luke Westerman of Freeport spread the field, completing 16 of 22 passes for a WPIAL Week 4-high 261 yards and a TD.

Additional Information:

High school football

Tonight’s games

Games begin at 7:30 p.m. unless noted).

Class AAAA

Kiski Area at Greater Latrobe

Plum at Upper St. Clair

Albert Gallatin at Fox Chapel

Class AAA

Highlands at Valley

Knoch at Kittanning

Class AA

Deer Lakes at Burrell

Mars at Ford City

North Catholic at Freeport

Shady Side Academy at Apollo-Ridge

Class A

Leechburg at Brentwood

Riverview at Clairton

Saturday’s game

Class A

Springdale at Serra Catholic, noon

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